India today announced an additional grant of USD one million to Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology in Ghana to expand its infrastructure.
Announcing the grant, President Pranab Mukherjee said former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, a great son of Ghana, is a long standing friend of India.
Over 2,500 Ghanian nationals have so far taken advantage of the centre, set up by an Indian grant of USD 2.8 million, to get trained in the field of Information Technology.
“In the recognition of the achievements of this centre, my government is happy to announce an additional million dollar grant to help the centre initiate a Masters programme, expand its laboratory facilities and introduce additional curriculum that will help students stay abreast with rapidly advancing technology,” he said.
Annan is a respected voice in global affairs and South South cooperation. Therefore, it was only appropriate that this centre should be named after him, Mukherjee said.
“India has always believed that Africa should take ownership of her resources and define her own interests and goals. Our Government is committed to working with partners in Africa in all areas where we can support them to use and adapt relevant, cost effective technologies, share best practices and realise their goals of technological development,” he said.
He said he was glad to know that the centre is duly focused on research and the application of science and ICT in finding local solutions for national issues.
“I would take this opportunity to emphasise that India’s experience as a developing country has taught us the necessity of giving due attention to equitable and inclusive growth and development,” he said.
Mukherjee said it is very important to ensure that the digital revolution does not create new imbalances between men and women, between rural and urban centre or between the mainstream languages and others.
“All sectors and segments must be reached in the drive to inculcate skills that will make the targeted population employable; if need be, special programmes must be designed to address their needs,” he said.